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It was after a long time when Virat Kohli was leading Indian team (in an ODI) with no MS Dhoni in the squad and he was evidently struggling to keep the things under control as Australia chased down a target of 359 against the hosts to level the series 2-2.
Kohli lacked the support of former Indian captain MS Dhoni, who has been rested for the final two ODIs.
The bungles from Rishabh Pant while doing wicketkeeping added to it and in the end, chance slipped from team India’s hand and Men in Blue lost the fourth ODI.
Former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi commented on the match and said that Virat Kohli was visibly rough without Dhoni in the side.
“Dhoni is not getting any younger, he is no spring chicken either but the team needs him. He has a calming influence on the side. The captain needs him by his side, he is visibly rough without him. It is not a good sign,” he told PTI.
MS Dhoni relinquished the captaincy post in January 2017, handing the leadership duties to Virat Kohli.
Since then, he has been leading the side but it was for the first time when there was no Dhoni in the side (in an ODI where Kohli was leading).
On occasions, Kohli has been seen discussing plans with Dhoni instead of Rohit Sharma, who is the vice-captain of the team.
Surely, the team missed the experience of Dhoni in the penultimate ODI of the series that cost the home side. As Bedi mentioned, Kohli was ‘rough’ without him.
Rishabh Pant, who kept wickets in fourth ODI, also missed few chances.
Had those chances been converted into wickets, the result could have been different but they were not capitalised that saw Australia win the match.
Since Dhoni isn’t a part of the team for final ODI as well, India have a tough road and with series on the line, it will be a real test for Kohli to lead the team from the front without a senior player in the team.
The fifth and the final ODI of the series will be played at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday. The series is level at 2-2.
India won the first two matches to put a strong foot forward but Australia made a comeback and won two back to back matches to level the series.
Ashton Turner turned out to be an unlikely hero for Australia. Coming in to bat at number 6, he scored 84* off 43 to finish off the game in style for his side.